Woman faked death in $550,000 cross-country luxury vehicle fraud scheme
No, it’s not a Deadline car fraud episode… not yet. This luxury vehicle scam started in Virginia, but shifted when the couple managed to scam car dealerships on more than 20 cars. How could these two rip off so many car dealerships by faking someone’s death?
The Plot Of This Luxury Vehicle Fraud Started With A Simple Fake Death
This story begins in Newport News, Virginia with a couple named Alexandra Hatcher and Albert W. Hatcher Jr. According to the Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Virginia, the couple concocted a fraud scheme of luxury vehicles that started with a simple fake death. In 2015, Alexandra decided to legally change her name to Sandra Marie Hatcher. This would allow her husband to cash out his life insurance policies on her behalf.
Over the next year, the couple submitted false death claims on two different insurance policies. The couple fabricated fake death certificates to submit to insurance so her husband could collect the life insurance. In one instance, the couple published an obituary in the Daily Press to corroborate the story.
According to the Daily Press, the cause of death was noted as “traumatic brain injury resulting from a fall”. The couple requested a lump sum cash payment when submitting to the Navy Mutual Aid Association. Unfortunately for these two, insurance companies denied claims because a “certified death certificate” was not available.
Police were notified when the family of the fraudster reported him missing
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Seeing the death mentioned in the newspaper, some relatives of the family became concerned. His family contacted the police and launched an investigation into the matter. Police attended the Hatchers’ home, where Albert told a confusing story that changed midway through. The funeral home listed on the death certificate confirmed it was a fake when no records were available.
“Hatcher and her husband embarked on a cross-country fraud scheme through which they fraudulently obtained at least 20 newer and newer used luxury vehicles.”
Ministry of Justice | U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia
After being turned down by insurance, the couple embarked on a cross-country adventure to scam luxury vehicle companies. The Hatcher family would drive to a dealership under the guise of buying a new or barely used car with bogus or forged checks. The plot worked in Virginia, North Carolina, Washington, Ohio, and Florida.
This creative strategy ultimately did not bear fruit.
The pair would use the fake checks to buy expensive luxury vehicles before moving on to the next scheme. Once the cars were titled with the new fake names, the pair used the cars as collateral for loans and other cars. When that didn’t work, Alexandra and Albert would sell the vehicles to other dealerships for cash. Alexandra would use the name she legally adopted just before faking her death to buy, title and resell the luxury cars.
Alexandra and Albert eventually pleaded guilty to a long list of charges. These include “conspiracy to commit bank fraud, possession and dissemination of a counterfeit title of an organization, and conspiracy to commit mail fraud”.
Finally, the two Hatchers received four years in prison for the scheme. In addition to the jail sentence, U.S. District Judge Robert G. Doumar ordered Alexandra and Albert to repay $202,894 in restitution to victims and car dealerships. In total, the couple applied for $600,000 in life insurance, but failed to collect it.
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